10 Landscape Photography Tips

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Below is a list of ten things which will help you to become a better landscape photographer.  If you happen to already be a good one then perhaps they will act as a refresher helping you to continue advancing.  

1.       Be Deliberate.  When we get to a new location sometimes we can get excited about what we see.  Slow down and be deliberate in your image crafting.

2.       Stability.  Shoot from a tripod as often as possible.  The tripod not only gives you image stability but it forces you to slow down and consider the subject.  Use a remote release as well to help eliminate vibration.

3.       Change your Angle.  We shoot at eye level all the time.  Try and mix it up by getting low or even high if there is an option.

4.       Use Live View.  Live view is a great way to help you get a better sense of what the final image will look like.  Consider it an option when you are setting up a composition.  Caveat: the LCD can be deceiving when you review your images.  What may look great in the field is under or overexposed once you get back home.  You can combat this by using the histogram when you review the image.

5.       Foreground, Middle ground, Background.  It may not always be possible but try to find an interesting foreground, middle ground, and background to your image so the entire scene keeps the viewer’s eyes moving and interested. 

6.       The Sky.  If the sky is uninteresting leave as much of it out of the scene as possible.

7.       Depth of Field.  Unless you find a creative use for a shallow depth of field seek to maximize it with a small aperture or through the use of focus stacking in post processing…  or both.

8.       Time of Day Matters.  You need to shoot during the times of day when the sun is setting or rising.  This is known as the Golden Hour and offers beautiful light.  The exception is on cloudy days you can shoot more often as the sky acts like a giant softbox.  Remember though, if it is a gray and uninteresting sky try to keep it out of the image.

9.       Watch your Exposure to the Right.  The histogram is a great tool to ensure you have the data you need.  When exposing the image pay attention to the right side of the histogram to ensure you do not over expose the image.  Once the data is gone, it’s gone.  In the same vein turn on your highlights warning on the image review.  This causes the screen to blink any areas which are over exposed.

10.   Consider the Dynamic Range.  If the dynamic Range of the scene is too great for the camera to capture in one scene then bracket exposures to ensure the fully dynamic range can be captured.  Also consider not every image needs the full dynamic range though if the mountain isn’t going anywhere feel free to capture the extra data.